Engela has been diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma in 2011, when a mole was removed from her left thigh. Further resection was done and all cancer was removed. In 2013 the cancer was picked up again in the left thigh, further resection was done on the left thigh and as a precaution the lymph nodes in the left groin. As precaution the oncologist advised that she start a treatment of interferon, this was quite strenuous on her body and health and she could not complete the course. In 2016 the melanoma spread from point of origin to other organs, including the lungs, liver and left breast. A course of immune therapy Ipilimumab(R1.3 million) was administered over a period of 4 months (4 cycles) the PET scan done in August 2016 showed that the cancer was stable. In 2017 August, after routine PET scan it was picked up that there where a new nodule in the left lung, she underwent a lung operation to remove the nodule, further testing was done and the result was that this was metastatic melanoma, 3 nodules where removed but only one tested positive for metastatic melanoma. In November they also did a hysterectomy as they found growth on her right ovary. A full hysterectomy, was done, leaving the left ovary. In January 2018, after routine PET scan, they picked up that the some of the inactive metastasis was no active. Only in June did they start the first cycle of Keytruda. In June Engela started complaining of headaches, dizzy spells and weakness in the knees, a MRI revealed that she also had a metastasis in the frontal lobe of the brain, inoperable.
She underwent Gamma Knife Radiation surgery (R131 701.30 + R96000 for oncologist), for the tumor. This was only done once. Since June this year she has been taking strong dosages of cortisone. This has in turn caused high blood pressure and high blood glucose. For which she now takes medication. After 8 cycles of Keytruda (R98000 per cycle) the oncologist advised that the treatment was not working and ceased the treatment. Advising that in South Africa there would be no further treatment. With this said he gave her a few months to live. We spent millions over the past few years, and have been on the highest plan on my medical aid to have cover for all these treatments, of which none worked.
Since then we have been looking at alternative medication to treat her metastatic melanoma. I wrote to CANSA SA and Dr E Pretorius came back. We went to see him on the 19th November. He advised that first and foremost we need to boost her immune system, as all the chemo and medication she took has weekend her immune system. His first priority is to improve her quality of life. He would also like for us to do a blood test that will be sent overseas where they will isolate the cancer cells, and test them against different types of chemo treatments, to pinpoint which chemo treatments will work best for her. As today oncologists plays a guessing game, working with predefined “recipes” chemo therapy, where you have a 50/50 chance of it working or not. With doing this test they will identify the correct treatments based on her blood work.
Once this was identified he will then want to start her on chemo therapy, but this will be done over different intervals.
Below is a breakdown of the costs involved:
Blood test to identify which chemo therapies will work best for Engela. (overseas) R5000.00 deposit at doctors practice (this will be refunded ones payment is made in full) 1600Euro’s for the test. This will be roughly R26000.00, when converted to rand. Total cost: R31000 of which R5000 is refundable.
Immune System Boost (incl. Near Infra Red Sauna, and vitamin boosts) : R2000 per day, over 5 days. This is to be repeated for 4 Weeks. Weekly cost: R10000.00 Total Cost: R40 000 for 4 weeks.
Chemo therapy: R27800.00 per week for 4 weeks: R111 200
R15000.00 per week for 8 weeks: R120 000
In total we are looking at a total of R262 200 I started a go fund me account for Engela where we already have an amount of R4200, donated by 10 funders we have also managed to get a donation that has been deposited in a investment account of R6000.00. We are trying to help Engela to improve her quality of life and hopefully beat her metastatic melanoma. But currently we do not have the finances to pay for this proposed treatment plan by Dr E Pretorius of the Centre for Advance medication – CANSA SA in 75 Lyttleton Drive, Clubview, Centurion. Anybody that is willing to assist us in any way to gather these funds will be a blessing. And will help Engela to improve her quality of life and not be bed ridden. She is only 38 years of age, we would wish to help her get better as best as we can. We are trying our best to help her get better, and return her quality of life.